Home » Initiating Community Conservation for Biodiversity with special focus on Leopards

Initiating Community Conservation for Biodiversity with special focus on Leopards

Supported by:

Our initiative is supported by Community Conservation Inc. (CCI) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin – Madison (RPCVs).

There are a total of 33 Community Forests within the Dakshinkali Municipality covering an area of 2170.8 Hectares (21.7 sq. km) which equates to around half of the total area and a religious forest around the Dakshinkali Temple with an area of 56 Hectares. A significant portion of the remaining area is agricultural land, being one of the major occupations of the local people.

Gopaleshwor Community Forest is situated in Ward No. 7 of Dakshinkali Municipality.

Most of the forest area falls under the Forest User Groups’ management, and there has been significant control of forest degradation and promotion of sustainable forestry practices by local communities. However there are often limitations in planning and management due to insufficient study available on the forest. Thus it is important to generate a comprehensive knowledge of the forest resources which will be useful for creating good policies, and implementing proper management and utilization measures.

In August 2022, we formally held a meeting with the Ward-7 executive committee and community forest members to discuss the way forward to initiate capacity building and wildlife monitoring. We agreed on a common goal to initiate community led wildlife conservation and citizen science practices in the region starting with Gopaleshwor Community Forest. This first step will help start a chain of community led conservation efforts in other forests in the surrounding wards and in the entire municipality in the future.

To achieve our goal, we have three objectives for the initial project:

1. To conduct camera trap study of wildlife and big cats in Gopaleshwor Community Forest.
2. To use the information to help the community be better informed and prepared for potential future conflict scenarios.
3. To provide wildlife monitoring training to interested locals